HEADQUARTERS SOUTHWEST DIVISION,
Springfield, Mo., August 23, 1862.
GENERAL: Joe Shelby, with 500 to 1,500 men, crossed the Osage at Hoffman's Ferry last night. General Totten in pursuit. General Schofield desires we should intercept him. Colonel Wright will act in concert with your troops. I have so directed. Coffee will escape into Arkansas with his scattered forces. Rains has moved north from Van Buren with 5,000 troops; Colonel Carroll from Fort Smith with about 3,000.
An immediate concentration of our joint commands in Southwestern Missouri will be necessary to meet this force of the enemy. I have directed Colonel Wright to take post at Mount Vernon, and I shall be prepared to move from here and form a junction at that post or Cassville. My effective force will be about 1,200 infantry, 1,700 cavalry, and six pieces of artillery that I can use for the purpose. Let me know immediately what I can expect from you.
E. B. BROWN,
SAINT LOUIS, MO., August 23, 1862.
I have received your dispatch through Colonel Catherwood, and will have it published.
Coffee, having succeeded in escaping to Arkansas, will doubtless be joined by Rains and return either upon or General Brown. I would suggest that you occupy a position within supporting distance of Springfield, west or southwest, and act in concert with him on the defensive until I can throw forward re-enforcements and enable you both to take the aggressive in Arkansas. Please inform me if this meets with your approval.
J. M. SCHOFIELD,
SPRINGFIELD, August 23, 1862.
Brigadier General JOHN M. SCHOFIELD:
I sent General Blunt the same plan you suggest, and named Newtonia as the point. Yesterday Colonel Wright was ordered to occupy Mount Vernon with all his present force.
E. B. BROWN,
CAMP AT CALHOUN,
August 23, 1862-2.30 p.m.
Brigadier General JOHN M. SCHOFIELD,
Just learned Shelby passed last night 8 miles west of Clinton. Shall march immediately toward Osceola to intercept them. Shelby reports himself 1,500 strong. They were to cross at Hoffman's Ferry.
38 R R-VOL XII